Specialty channels boost bottom line at CHUM

7/31/01

Toronto - Net earnings from operations at Chum Ltd., owners of radio and television assets such as Citytv, MuchMusic and Bravo!, for the nine months ended May 31, 2001 were $15.9 million or $1.37 per share, compared with $22.8 million or $1.96 per share for the corresponding period last year.

However, last year's results included the one-time proceeds from the company's sale of its 50% partnership interest in MuchMusic USA Venture for US$10 million to Rainbow Media. That sale resulted in a gain of Cdn$9 million net of income taxes of Cdn$6.2 million or $0.77 per share.

When the Much USA sale is factored out, results for the nine months ended May 31, 2001 were 15.1% higher than net earnings for the same period last year. Cash flow from operations for the nine months ended May 31, 2001 was $2.63 per share representing a 55.9% increase over the nine months ended May 31, 2000.

For the nine months ended May 31, 2001 revenue totalled $309.3 million, an increase of 9.8% and operations expenses increased by $23.3 million or 9.8% compared with the corresponding period last year.

For the third quarter ended May 31, 2001, net income was $7.7 million or $0.66 per share and was 5.8% higher than the net income of the same quarter for 2000 before the gain on the sale of Much USA. EBITDA for the quarter amounted to $20.6 million, a 5.8% increase over the corresponding quarter last year. Cash flow from operations was $1.10 per share compared with $0.46 per share for the three months ended May 31, 2000.

Company revenues for the three month period ended May 31, 2001 totalled $109.3 million, an increase of 12.5% over last year. Operations expenses were up 14.2% to $88.7 million.

Revenues for radio and television exceeded those reported last year, primarily as a result of increased sales in both radio and specialty television, as well as increased subscriber fees for the company's specialty services. The increased revenues for the year to date and for the quarter ended May 31, 2001 have resulted in increased earnings in spite of a weaker economy.

Airtime sales and bookings through to August 31, 2001 for both radio and television are continuing to exceed those for the same period last year as demand for advertising time remains quite strong, particularly for radio and specialty television, reported the company.

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